Kayle Enfield didn't really see much of last year's inaugural Ride the Wave festival from out in the surf - he only lasted 20 minutes before he was knocked out of the competition.
One heat and he was done.
Now surfing better than ever, the Port Macquarie teenager is hopeful he can progress further when this year's event starts on Friday.
"Hopefully this year I can go a little bit better than one round or 20 minutes, but we'll wait and see," he said.
"Even if I don't make it very far, it's still an awesome event."
Enfield has had some experience in recent months with various Qualifying Series surfing events and he feels he has picked up on little things which will help him improve in a competitive environment.
Gradual progression is what he's after at this stage of his career.
"In the past year I've really worked on my competition surfing and going away to those big events definitely helped get me that little bit more experience, that little bit more knowledge and a bit more patience in the water," he said.
"It's about staying in the moment; a lot of the time you can get flustered and think about too many things at once."
He hopes to apply all those ingredients to an improved showing at one of his home events where any local knowledge could come in handy.
Enfield is feeling comfortable.
"I surf this break most days, so I'm pretty confident that I can get a bit of a ball rolling because [local competitions] have helped that and by competing with a few mates it should be really good."
In recent years Port Macquarie has been starved of high-profile surfing events, but Ride the Wave is the second event in a jam-packed winter calendar for surf lovers.
It follows the regional titles on May 29 and is ahead of the Australian surf titles from August 5.
"We haven't really had many comps here apart from Boardriders for the last year," Enfield said.
"So for me this will be the first time since last year that I've competed at home because apart from regionals, which was awesome for the younger kids, we haven't had anything.
"The surf is looking really good so it will be awesome to take what you've learned and put it into an event that's local."
Enfield will also be one of the event's ambassadors alongside Ollie Hudson, Lola Styles, Albie Watson and Rhys Evans.
He said it was a great privilege to work with the Make A Difference foundation and meet new people along the way.
"We're helping a good cause so it means the world and I love every minute of it. I can't wait to be involved and for people to come and experience Port is something pretty special to me."
Evans competed in the skateboarding division last year and felt he was well within a shot at winning it before the rain came.
Outside of the weather he knows where he can improve which might see a podium finish before the end of the event.
"I think I might add some flip tricks into it and just try and get all my tricks perfect," he said.
He also hopes the home location will provide an added advantage.
"It's really good and it's five minutes away from home so it'll be so fun."
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